Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits shot up last week, after having held at relatively low levels over the past month.
The Labor Department said Thursday that applications for jobless aid rose 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 311,000. The less volatile four-week moving average crept up to 295,750. These levels roughly match the averages seen before the start of the recession at the end of 2007, a sign that the jobs market appears poised to continue growing at a steady pace.
Here are the states with the biggest decreases in applications. No state reported increases in jobless claims of more than 1,000. The unadjusted data is for the week that ended Aug. 2, one week behind the national figures:
States with the biggest decreases:
California: Down 9,244, no reason given
Tennessee: Down 1,090, no reason given
New York: Down 1,063, due to fewer layoffs in transportation and warehousing, food service and education